Robyn Bayne – 4th year Disaster Relief Management student – Internship at Rhodes University

I am doing my 10 month internship as an academic internship at Rhodes University.   Under Professor Tandlich (Pharmacy Dept) and Dr Oosthuizen (Community Engagement Dept) we work to further the risk management and disaster studies at the university.

An academic internship has given me the opportunity to be exposed to a completely new side of Disaster Management. I am now working in labs to create test kits, executing the sampling and researching of different elements and generating data that can be used to increase resilience in the area.

It is incredibly rewarding to contribute to and be part of papers and projects that will guide and assist the future of disaster management not only in South Africa, but internationally. Having access to infinite information and likeminded individuals is a privilege and makes me optimistic for the future of our field. I hope to continue my involvement with Rhodes University next year for my Masters.


An Internship of a Lifetime

My name is Alvina Mente, a 4th year disaster management student at NHL Stenden South Africa. During the 4th year of study at NHL Stenden South Africa, all disaster management student are to complete a ten month internship and I did mine at the Ndlambe Local Municipality.

My internship started off with the basics of disaster management, collecting and delivering relief, and before the arrival of Covid-19, I had the opportunity of being apart of the security team for some of our National Rughy team members who were showing their gratitude to various towns in Mzanzi and one of those towns was Makhanda in Makana Local Municipality.

When Covid-19 arrived in South Africa, things went from 0-100 in a matter of days. Prior to the announcement of a national lockdown by our President Cyril Ramaposa, my internship host and I established a Technical Joint Operation Centre with the assistance of my Senior Lecturer Alroy Taai.

This Technical JOC afforded me the opportunity of a life time. The opportunity referred to is that of a real life experience

(Covid-19), coordination with executives of our local municipality as well as stakeholders on a district level.

Covid-19 has been a bitter sweet experience for me, in the sense that I learnt a tremendous amount from those who have lost family members and friends as a  result of the pandemic that taught me a lot. The fear of getting infected took a back seat whem work.had to be done. I joined our local nursing staff from.both hospitals in Porr Alfred and conducted door-to-door screening.

If I could take the pain of all those who lost their loved ones away, I would but Covid 19 has taught me that being disciplined and level headed are what the field of disaster management requires and I wish many more people would be as passionate about the field.